Monday, August 22, 2016

Season 9, stage 3, RR 5


It was almost ready and it got deleted and now I can't find it anymore. I apologize to you the readers, but I won't write it from scratch. TCEC does not wait and 28 games are a lot to go over again. It's a shame since RR 5 was very exciting. What I will do is give a short overview of what happened.


Here we go:

Table after 5 RR

Stockfish is still firmly in the lead, 1.5 points ahead of the field. RR 5 has not been great for Stockfish with only one win (and no loss), but it was a quality win against Houdini. Stockfish also dodged a few difficult positions as black, perhaps an indication it will do better in the reverse games.
The race for second place is fought hard between Houdini and Komodo. Komodo's loss to Andscacs was a shocker, and Houdini lost its first game this stage. Komodo is not as dominant as I thought it would be, perhaps it's just bad luck. With 3 RRs left this race can go either way. Doubly important are the head-to-head matches, so far 5 draws.

Some of the game highlights

Houdini - Komodo was another draw for these engines, still tied for second place.

Houdini beat Andscacs to get a 0.5 points lead in second place. The game reached a queen ending with Houdini 5 (!!) pawns up, after a nice king side attack.

In the next game Andscacs shocked everyone and beat Komodo. The opening seemed quiet enough, and it seems that Komodo blundered, not taking the king side attack possibility seriously enough. Andscacs executed the attack well, leading in the end to material advantage and a pawn on the 7th rank.

Komodo's unexpected loss was a great opportunity for Houdini to extend its lead in the race for second place. However, in the next game Stockfish beat Houdini. Three consecutive decisive games, and Houdini's first loss of the stage. Again the opening seemed innocent, and we got to see Stockfish in one of its finest moments of the season with a well coordinated attack on an uncastled king. Just before the final mass exchange the position was:

Just incredible !! As a result of all this excitement Stockfish extended its lead at the top and Houdini is still 0.5 points ahead of Komodo.

Houdini used its superior endgame skills to beat Gull in a rook endgame. Gull's lack of tablebases may also have contributed to its loss. Houdini now 1 point ahead of Komodo.

Andscacs put Stockfish under some pressure but Stockfish managed to exchange most pieces and get out safely with a draw.

Stockfish - Komodo was a relatively quiet draw.

Komodo beat Rybka, and immediately Houdini beat Jonny, no change in the race between these two.

Gull - Komodo was a long Q vs RR endgame that was well on its way to a draw. however Gull blundered yet again - not sure whether tablebases would have helped here, causing Komodo's eval to jump to 6, winning several moves later. A free 0.5 point for Komodo.

Fire pressed Stockfish hard, with a rook to bishop advantage. Stockfish exchanged down to a RN vs BN ending and with almost no pawns left Fire didn't have enough for a win.

Rybka held Houdini to a draw after Houdini had the advantage in black. At the end of the RR Houdini is 0.5 points ahead of Komodo.

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